Returning to China!

Best of Beijing

I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from Beijing here. I went there several years in a row as part of a program. I ended up getting arrested, so I haven’t been invited back. These things happen. Oh, well. At least I got some good photos!

Bustling Beijing Getting this photo was not easy at all!I knew of this area of Beijing called the CBD, or Central Business District.  I notice that they have all these catchy names here, much like the building I took this photo from: "China Merchants Building."  At any rate, I had the driver circle the business district a few times so I could find a good angle.  We found one in this building, but did not know if we could take a photo from the top floor.  Woo went in first.  This might have been a mistake because during the shoot he admitted he had a dreadful fear of heights.  But he said it in such a charming British accent I thought it could have been my subconscious.We went up to the 32nd floor.  No windows no dice.  We then went to the 31st floor, but the confused secretary would not let us through.  Then we tried 30.  The secretary said yes and let us into a boardroom, but the angle was not right and the other offices were busy.  So we went to 29.The secretary on 29 was confused so I instructed Woo to tell her, firmly, "We are with the Government."- Trey RatcliffFind out what happened here at stuckincustoms.com.

The Chinese Mothership Look at this magical place in Beijing... it's on the edge of belief.I could hardly fathom the nature of this place.  I expected the lights to appear on the grid with melodic tones a mystical, alien language, like in Close Encounters.  But none of that happened...  So I just stood there for a long time, thinking about how incredible this place was... and took my time, setting up my system for a fitting photograph.Remember when we were kids, and we never finished our food, even under the threat of starving children in China?  Now, I say to my kids, you better eat your food, or else Chinese children will grow up and create an economic powerhouse.  Well too late for that!This is the amazing National Centre for the Performing Arts, or as I like to say, the 国家大剧院 -- I find that rolls of the tongue a bit easier.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Secret Treasures of Beijing These little finds are everywhere!  Sometimes, while stumbling around from alleyway to alleyway, I appear right in the middle of these perfect little scenes.It was very close to the National Day, and crews were out freshening-up the city.  There were about four Chinese painters that were busy putting a fresh red coat of paint on this perfect little bridge.  By chance, they were just finishing up as I approached.   This little boat from the painters was pulled up beside the bridge in a wonderful way, so I set up my tripod along the bank for a photo.They all looked at me in a confused way.  They had no idea why I would want to take a photo of their little boat and the bridge.  I imagine they find this so commonplace as to be hardly worthy of a photo...  and it makes me wonder about all the non-photographers (or fans of this site) out there.  Perhaps they just go through life and don't even notice anything interesting pretty and nicely composed.  What an empty visual life this must be!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Downtown Beijing After Rain

Daily Photo – Returning to China!

I'm excited to come back to China in June. I'll be in some of the major cities, but I'm also quite excited to visit a few new spots. I'm not sure where I'll go yet. I reached out to my friend Kevin Kelly, who is quite the demigod in China, to see if he has any suggestions. I'm looking forward to trying out the new bullet train system to go far afield. Whatever happens, I'll take plenty of photos and share back here on the blog with you.

Returning to China!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-10 03:27:22
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Wolfgang Thrust

Sunset Beach Photo Tips

I spend a lot of time taking sunset photos on beaches. It doesn’t mean I’m an expert or anything, but I have a lot of experience with it. Anyway, in this video, I talk a bit about composition and my setup for the shot.

Daily Photo – Wolfgang Thrust

For a fun experiment, we made a fake Instagram account for Tane. I wanted to name him “Wolfgang Thrust,” but in the end, we decided this might cause a bit of bias in the experiment. Anyway, that has very little to do with this photo that I got at the Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. This last weekend, I went through and started pulling out unprocessed photos from many years ago. This is one of the random ones I chose to process!

Wolfgang Thrust

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-01-24 17:25:50
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Another Horse In Iceland

the New HDR Tutorial

Here’s a promo for my new HDR Video Tutorial – I hope you get it and love it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Another Horse In Iceland

Sometimes I think I could make a whole blog just about horses in Iceland. I swear, I have So Many Photos of horses in Iceland, and they're all pretty good! I can't take much credit for them, you know, as the horses are just so darned photogenic. And then the whole country has a perfect backdrop… it's just kind of hard to take a bad photo of them!

Another Horse In Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-06-13 05:00:29
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Billions

Here’s another show recommendation: Billions! It’s a drama based on Wall Street. Sounds kind of boring, I know… but still very entertaining! It’s one of the only shows I watch not on Netflix… it’s on Showtime and maybe a few other places?

Image Radiance

Let’s talk about one of my favourite features in Aurora HDR 2018, Image Radiance.

The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!

Daily Photo – A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

I remember at the time I took this that I almost DIDN'T take it. The colors seemed muted, it was quite steamy/foggy/moody, and also, I was quite tired. Maybe I was feeling a bit melancholy or something. Anyway, for whatever reason, I took it. And then, when processing, I recalled the melancholy mood and decided to give it a nudge in that direction.

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-07 15:23:51
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Hiking Across New Zealand

Philip Sheppard + JJ Abrams + Star Wars = Awesome!

I’m honored my friend Philip has used my imagery for his new Star Wars related album he’s just released right here.

And here’s his music on the amazing Comic-Con Reel:

And here’s the photo from that album cover…

Approaching Mos Eisley Spaceport on Tatooine

The Great Walks

Did you know New Zealand has 9 official “Great Walks”? I think there’s like 5 on the North Island and 4 on the South Island. How many have I personally been on? ZERO! Can you believe it? I can’t…. I gotta fix that… I’m a bit upset with myself really that I haven’t made that happen yet

Daily Photo – Hiking Across New Zealand

New Zealand is a great place to hike, and this is from a place pretty close to my home in Queenstown. I think one reason it’s great for hiking is because there are so many trails, and most are pretty easy or moderate. I’m actually not into all the hardcore hiking… not for me! But it’s so easy to walkabout and see so much cool stuff.

Hiking Across New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-01-17 07:40:52
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length130.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Communities and New Badges

Want to join the community and share your photos? Here’s some links for you! 🙂 Google+ turned 2 years old, and they announced a new Badge Maker that you can use for your website. I thought I’d use the new badges below to re-invite you to a few of the communities we started there! These are good places for you to share your work, if you so desire. Also, as always, I am happy for you to share your work here in the comments on the blog too! 🙂




Daily Photo – Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

I had a peaceful evening in Wanaka.

There is this tree that sits out in the middle of the lake. It’s so unusual. I love the way it reflects back on itself in the smooth water. I was by myself, listening to music on my iPod, and just watching the water as it would calm down then get excited, then calm down again. I swapped out lenses a few times and kept moving around to admire it from different angles. This one was one of my favorites.

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-06-27 01:21:44
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Burning Man Photos and New Workshop Schedule

Upcoming Photography Workshops

I really don’t do these very often, but it was getting confusing so we made a page that showed what, when, and where! It’s over on the Photography Workshops page, and I have pasted it below for you. Maybe we should have a punch-card like Subway where you get a free cookie if you come to 10 events! Hehe… we do have one gentleman that has appeared at a few of them and we may see him again! 🙂

Photography Workshops

Location & Date Workshop Registration
Queenstown, NZ
February 7 – 10, 2013
New Zealand Photo Adventure
5 Days with Trey Ratcliff in a non-stop photography adventure… 3 nights in Queenstown and 1 in Milford Sound.
Contact us for Pricing

Learn more and Register now

Christchurch, NZ
December 6, 2012
Trey’s Christchurch Workshop
Trey Ratcliff will lead a day-long class with an emphasis on post-processing photos.
$499 USD
 $99 USD Kiwis (Hi Neighbors!)
 $49 USD NZIPP Member
 $49 USD NZ StudentsLearn more and Register now
Paris, France
November 8 -9, 2012
Midnight in Paris
Miss Aniela and Trey Ratcliff thought it would be exciting to combine her dramatic fine art photography with his epic landscapes into an intense hands-on photoshoot experience and workshop. They will share their secrets of how they envision, prepare, shoot, and process their photos.
€1,190 EUR per person

Learn more and Register now

Online Webinar
August, 2012
Discover the Art of Photography
Four part tutorial covering the fundamentals of how a camera operates, properly composing a photo, finding your artistic style and basic photo editing. Perfect for Beginning and Intermediate photographers!
Sold out!

Learn more and Buy recorded copy

Online Webinar
April, 2011
HDR Tutorial
Webinar covers HDR and many other innovative post-processing techniques. There are over 11 hours of instruction across 9 classes covering topics for beginners and moving into intermediate and advanced topics.
Sold out!

Learn more and Buy recorded copy

London
2010
HDR and Post-processing workshop Sold out!
Tokyo
2010
HDR and Post-processing workshop Sold out!
Austin
2009
HDR and Post-processing workshop Sold out!

Burning Man 2012

Here are a bunch of photos I took at Burning Man a few weeks ago. I put little captions below each one so you can read more about the situation there.

Burning Man Photo

An angel floats above the scene as she glides near center camp. People look up at her as she floats by and she always seems to be waving in slow motion.

 

Burning Man Photo

Night at Burning Man is a bit like a Massive Multiplayer Online Game. Everyone is in costume, the lights are not of-this-earth, and the entire feeling is that of a parallel universe.

 

Burning Man Photo

Near the temple, a masked figure assumes strange positions, orienting herself in a particular position in relation to the sun.

 

Burning Man Photo

There are countless gatherings about this and that. This one comes from the Million Bunny March, where thousands of bunnies got together in a protest against humanity.

 

Burning Man Photo

A mobile “Home” on wheels is pulled across the playa by a tractor. People sit on the front porch and enjoy a nice cool drink.

 

Burning Man Photo

While I was at the temple one morning, I saw this girl watching the sunrise nearby me. I asked if I could take a photo. She immediately posed. I found out later, to no great surprise, that she was a model – her name is Eden Muse.

&n

Sunken Ghost Ship in the Desert

Interview on Australian TV

I was on Channel 7 a few days ago in Australia – here is the clip 🙂

Backup Camera for Burning Man

My main camera I use nowadays is the Nikon D800, and I was a bit afraid to take that out into the desert. Instead, I took out my Nikon D3S to get some of these shots. It’s one of the six different cameras I used at Burning Man this year. I didn’t get much dust at all inside the camera… but I also never changed the lens or used it too much in sandstorms…

Musician at the Chinese Opera

Invite to the Variety Hour

Over on Google+, I’ve started doing these weekly invites to the Variety Hour. You can accept over there, and it automatically shows up in your calendar… I think it’s a pretty cool feature.

As always, watch here on the blog too. The upcoming show has several cool and secret prizes to hand out! 🙂

Daily Photo – Musician at the Chinese Opera

It was my second visit to this particular opera and my third visit to a Chinese opera. I was fortunate enough to be able to move freely around the venue, as long as I did not get in the way of the performers. That wasn’t very easy, since the performers would often just start running down and around the aisles! They would dart this way and that, run around columns come in and out of random doors and re-use the same pathways that I was navigating. So I had to be on constant alert!

There was one girl that was playing a very unusual Chinese instrument. I’ll never get the name of it right, so I won’t even try… but she had this most unusual hat that I thought was quite nice…

Musician at the Chinese Opera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-09-16 00:00:00
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.5
  • ISO14368
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

Suspicious Chipmunk

And… speaking of funny YouTube videos

My kids and I love watching funny animal-related YouTube videos… the more the better!  Any you want to share with me?  I promise, I’ll click on any YouTube link that has some possible destination of animal hilarity!

Daily Photo – Suspicious Chipmunk

Why is the chipmunk so suspicious?  How much intrigue and backstabbing can there be in the world of the woodland creature?  What are the other unexpected emotional states of chipmunks?  Mildly-surprised-chipmunk?  Angst-ridden-chipmunk?  Walk-of-shame- chipmunk?  Only the internet knows…

And the internet DOES know… go do a Google video search for “Dramatic Chipmunk” – you’ll never forget it 🙂

Suspicious Chipmunk Why is the chipmunk so suspicious?  How much intrigue and backstabbing can there be in the world of the woodland creature?  What are the other unexpected emotional states of chipmunks?  Mildly-surprised-chipmunk?  Angst-ridden-chipmunk?  Walk-of-shame- chipmunk?  Only the internet knows…And the internet DOES know… go do a Google video search for “Dramatic Chipmunk” – you’ll never forget it :)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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